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Site last updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Published: November 18, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Who should pay?

Regarding the flap over the sale of Sunnyview, the million-dollar annual loss seems to be the deciding point financed by the county real estate tax. The real estate tax also is a significant contribution to public schools.
Remember, the real estate tax falls equally on rich and poor. We are told a large increase in school real estate tax is coming due to the state Legislature’s 2001 illegal “pension grab” deal (done with the cooperation of Gov. Tom Ridge) that raised the pension benefits of state lawmakers by 50 percent and awareded a 25 percent increase in pension benefits to most other state employee and public school teachers. And there is no reform in sight.
Seniors are also looking at increased Medicare costs due to the illegal raid on Medicare funding by Obamacare, reputed to be $1 trillion, ignoring the needs of 10,000 baby-boomers retiring daily from now until 2030.
Seniors without children in school are objecting to school taxes.
It is obvious that real estate taxes are unfair and inefficient. Too many properties are exempt. Some western states are 70 percent-plus federal government-owned.
Due to the cost of nursing homes, relatively few people can afford nursing home care, if they don’t qualify for Medicaid, and Medicaid will discontinue funding nursing home care under Obamacare. There is a limit to how much money even Obamacare can steal.
The Legislature-Ridge deal obviously created excessive pension obligations, the expenses of which should not fall to the local school board. The school board is only responsible for items in its own labor contract. Costs created by the state government are a state government expense.
On real estate tax, the solution is to end all tax exemptions — church, government, hospitals, schools and colleges across the board.
The increasing tax cost is falling on too small a field.

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Robert F. Hawk
Butler Township
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